I knew from the start that he was going to wreck me.
Nothing could have prepared me for the day he walked into my life…
or the day he walked out of it.
All that remained was a shell of the girl I once was.
And I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.
Silence passes between us and he nudges my elbow with his. Reaching out for my hand again, he delicately traces the inside of my palm where he kissed it yesterday with his fingertip. Goosebumps rise and my body hums with anticipation. I turn to look him in the eye again and he has a charming, yet shy, look on his face.
For the love of all that is holy…lean over and kiss me, already!
“You know … if you’re wondering whether or not I want to,” he pauses for a quick breath and stares at my lips before continuing. “I want to. Or rather, I want you to.”
I can hardly control myself and double over in laughter.
“What?” Phoenix asks, his eyebrows knit together.
“I cannot believe you just said that! You just turned one of my most favorite songs into a cheesy pickup line!”
He chuckles softly and tries to pull me back toward him. “Yeah, you got me. At least now I have confirmation that you have good taste in music.”
Pfft. As if there were ever any doubt. I’m becoming increasingly more aware of how he works. Clearly he has issues making the first move, but once the door is open, the shy guy dissolves.
We stare at each other in silence … staring through each other … his hazel eyes pleading for what we both want to say … for what we both want to do.
For something that has been so easy to do so many times before, I’m surprised by my nervousness.
Then, as if on cue, the world starts moving in slow motion. I watch Phoenix close his eyes and lean toward me, and I swear … I swear I see his lips quiver.
“Ivy…” he whispers. My name tastes of chocolate and caramel from the cupcakes we shared and my heart sighs at the sound of my name rolling off of his tongue.
I lean forward and close the gap between us, running my fingertips down his face and committing his stubble to memory as I slowly part his lips with mine.
I fall into this kiss…
Fall into him…
Fall for him.
This kiss. God, this kiss is deliciously slow like honey. Instantly I can feel it everywhere in my body, blazing in my palm … my chest … my toes. He takes his time, his hands outlining my neck to my shoulders and down to my arms.
I kiss him like I’m starving and I only now realize that I have been hungry for the past twenty-two years, savoring every last bite, committing it to memory for both the present and the afterlife. I take my time memorizing his mouth with my tongue.
The fresh taste of his lips …
The way his arms envelop me, delicate but firm …
The tender moan that rises from the back of his throat …
I’ve come undone.
Pulling back, I watch him bring his fingertips to his lips in wonder. When his lips struck mine, tiny sparks jumped. Heat flashed. Instant combustion.
With that one kiss, an ember hidden deep inside my soul awakened a sleeping shadow. A kindling in my hollows started a slow burn. The ember becomes light, a twin flame illuminating my heart.
It’s strange to think that something as innocent as pressing one’s lips to another’s can so drastically alter the course of your entire life. But with that single kiss, I know that he is important.
B.L. Berry is many things. A New Adult author. A self-proclaimed music whore. A long-course triathlete. A marketing savant. And a full-time working mom. While there are never enough hours in the day, she does the best she can to get things done and hopes for technological advances in human cloning.
When she’s not hiding behind her computer writing, you can find her spending time with her family or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Rumor has it she’ll sleep when she’s dead.
She is Canadian by birth. Mexican by marriage. Chicagoan by heart. Kansan by choice. Jayhawk purely by common sense.
Residing outside of Kansas City, she lives with her husband, two children and black pug. Each day her family thanks the makers of e-Readers, because without which they would be living amongst stacks and stacks of romance novels. Conversely, each day B.L. Berry thanks the makers of e-Readers for hiding her book-hoarding tendencies.